let's talk farm animals

You can’t answer animal rights with animal welfare

By: Leslie Ballentine, Farming and food commentator

It is probably fair to say that most Canadians don’t want to see animals mistreated and that we care, to varying degrees, about their well-being. But it appears that many Canadians don’t make the important distinctions between animal welfare and animal rights.

Part of the reason is because media and activist groups can make it difficult to do so. And part of the reason is that when those who try to call attention to the difference we are wrongly accused of being alarmist and against animals.

Media have mislabelled the two for years. In the early days media were notorious for labelling animal activists as environmentalists, when the two are nothing alike. But for many years the press have continued to get it wrong.

For example, calling PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) an ‘animal welfare group’ is like calling H1N1 ‘the flu’.

That is mostly the fault of sloppy journalism since PETA has always been upfront that they are abolitionists and not an animal welfare group. Meantime, many animal groups, who feel a need to publically hide their true intentions, have packaged themselves as animal welfare reformists. For these groups animal welfare is being used as just one of many stepping stones toward abolition. And as many studies have shown, the majority of individuals who self identify as animal rights really just want animals to be treated better rather than not at all.

A recent commentary noted that animal welfare is a science while animal rights is an ideology. As such this creates a dichotomy. Just as with evolutionists and creationists, they will never agree.

This graphic is one of many that animal activists have posted over the years to illustrate the important distinctions between the Animal Rights and Animal Welfare movements.

Even though there is a fair amount of overlap between the two movements, their ultimate goals are dramatically different.  At the end of the day the two movements have irreconcilable differences that even their supporters may not truly understand and that animal welfare can never answer.

Until the Next Blog


Posted by FFC on November 5th, 2012 :: Filed under Activism,Animal welfare,Education and public awareness
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One Response to “You can’t answer animal rights with animal welfare”

  1. Charlie M
    November 7th, 2012

    I think that if you are going to back and support a movement such as animal welfare you would definitely fully understand their goals.

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